Raise your hand if you cringe when you hear the word “meatloaf”. I get it because I used to feel the same way. The word painted pictures of 1950s-esque bricks of dried meat, served alongside lumpy mashed potatoes and limp broccoli. **Cringe**
Let’s wipe those images out of our heads and give meatloaf new life by lightening it up with ground turkey and some grated zucchini, and giving it a punch of flavor with hoisin sauce and Chinese 5-spice powder. Now we’re talking!
If you’re not familiar with hoisin sauce, the best way I can describe it is a Chinese barbecue sauce. It’s rich, savory and full of sweet and salt flavors. It can be found in the international aisle of most grocery stores, but can also be bought online here, along with Chinese 5-spice powder. Gluten-free versions are also available. To make this recipe completely gluten-free, be sure to buy gluten-free oats.
Don’t worry that hoisin sauce won’t go to waste. You can use the extra for my favorite Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken recipe, which we make at least every couple of weeks.
You could easily turn this into a full meatloaf and slice it just before serving, but I like using muffin tins to make mini versions, both for the cute factor and for the quick cooking time. Prepare the mixture and scoop it into the muffin tin in the morning or even the night before, and pop them into the oven just before dinnertime. Twenty-five minutes later, they’ll be ready to serve.
Now, there’s one unsavory thing to deal with when we’re talking mini meatloaves. When you bake these little guys, some liquid will be released from the ground turkey and will pool on top of the meatloaves. Using a small spoon or a paper towel, just scoop or dab that liquid away. Voilà…problem solved.
Whip up some brown rice and a green salad or steamed veggies, and you have a healthy meal that your family will love. They may actually start to beg for meatloaf!
Other healthy ground turkey recipes:
Mini Hoisin Turkey & Zucchini Meatloaf Muffins
- 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 1 1/2 c grated zucchini, liquid squeezed out
- 1/3 c + 3 tbsp hoisin sauce, divided
- 3/4 c old-fashioned oats
- 1/4 c minced flat-leaf parsley
- 3/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, zucchini, ⅓ cup hoisin sauce, oats, parsley, 5-spice powder, salt, pepper and egg.
- Use slightly less than ½ cup of the mixture for each meatloaf, placing each portion into one of muffin tin slots.
- Brush the tops of the meatloaves with the remaining 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce.
- Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet (to catch any drips). Bake until the meatloaves are cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then remove with a small metal spatula. Serve.
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